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By Debra Phillips "Young people are looking for something they've never encountered before--something that seems exotic," explains Steven Guarnaccia, co-author with Bob Sloan of "Hi-Fis & Hi-Balls: The Golden Age of the American Bachelor. " "For those of us who remember the era firsthand, it's kind of cheesy." And yet, it's kind of a gas, too. As Guarnaccia points out, the 1950s boast at least the appearance of a simpler, less angst-ridden time--with the possible exceptions, of course, of the days of the bongo-playing, stream-of-consciousness, swaying Beatniks. Even these cats, however, knew how to play it cool. Speaking of cool, movies such as "Swingers," lounge-music collections, and clubs featuring the tunes of Percy Faith, Julie London and Bobby Darin continue to be what's shakin' in the cocktail nation. But when space-age bachelor mania stops cookin' with gas, Guarnaccia speculates there will still be interest left in at least one group from that era. "I think we've yet to really see the full flowering of the Beat and hipster angle of it," he surmises. "That may be yet to come." Fine with us. We're ready to go on the road again.
Steven Guarnaccia is an author, illustrator, and designer whose work has appeared in books for both adults and children. He lives in Montclair, New Jersey. Robert Sloan co-authored A Stiff Drink and a Close Shave with Steve Guarnaccia. He lives in New York City.